Minnesota moves up to fourth-healthiest state in new report

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Minnesota is the fourth-healthiest state, according to a new analysis of the nation's health.

Minnesota moved up two spots from last year's America's Health Rankings report, in part because of decreases in smoking, cardiovascular deaths and physical inactivity.

Dr. Rhonda Randall, chief medical officer for UnitedHealthcare Retiree Solutions and an adviser on the analysis, said Minnesota has consistently ranked among the top 10 healthiest states. Among its strengths are a low rate of cardiovascular deaths, a low percentage of people without insurance and a 13 percent decrease in smoking over the past two years, she said.

Still, Randall said Minnesota has some pitfalls.

"For Minnesota, those challenges are high prevalence of excessive drinking, low immunizations among adolescent males for HPV and a low per-capita public health funding," she said.

Minnesota also reported increases in obesity and drug deaths, as did the rest of the nation.

Hawaii earned the top spot in the rankings, while Louisiana came in last.

The America's Health Rankings report is compiled by United Health Foundation and the American Public Health Association.

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